December 3, 2010

Improve your memory!

Memory Improvement Techniques
Avoid frustrating memory loss. Retain and recall more information.


It's a classic situation - you meet someone new, and then moments later you've forgotten their name! Names, passwords, pin and telephone numbers... the list is endless - with so much to memorize is it really possible to improve how much you can remember?
The good news is "yes"! Just like every muscle in your body, the adage "use it or lose it" applies, so the more you exercise your brain, the more you will remember.
Great! That means we can remember our opening lines as well?! I think every single one of us experienced the following thoughts:"Damn it! If I could just remember what I prepared here! - Was it Nh4 or Qb3 or Rd1 or...hmmm, I should better think with a fresh mind...but I should remember, was it...?! - My head is completely empty! How can I forget my moves when I just repeated them yesterday?!" - let's take a look on the techniques presented below, we will soon have a weapon against this type of situations.

Mnemonics:

"Mnemonic" is another word for memory tool. Mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall. Essential Amino Acids: If you are studying biology or chemistry, how could you use mnemonics to remember the essential amino acids? You can use the name Pvt. Tim Hall (Private Tim Hall - as in the military) to help you recall the amino acids. How? Because each letter in Pvt. Tim Hall corresponds to one of the essential amino acids - Phenylanine, Valine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Isolucine,Methionine,Histidine, Arginine, Leucine, Lysine. The name Pvt. Tim Hall is obviously much easier to remember than the amino acids on their own. 

The idea behind using mnemonics is to encode difficult-to-remember information in a way that is much easier to remember.

How can we remember than our "so difficult to recall openings"?

Using Your Whole Mind to Remember:

You can do the following things to make your mnemonics more memorable:
  • Use positive, pleasant images. Your brain often blocks out unpleasant ones. (What a genius I am to find such a wonderful resource!)
  • Use vivid, colorful, sense-laden images – these are easier to remember than drab ones. 
  • Use all your senses to code information or dress up an image. Remember that your mnemonic can contain sounds, smells, tastes, touch, movements and feelings as well as pictures.
  • Give your image three dimensions, movement and space to make it more vivid. You can use movement either to maintain the flow of association, or to help you to remember actions. (Remember the car drive, going back to your hotel room, when that GM told you some interesting line...)
  • Exaggerate the size of important parts of the image.(With this line I can beat even Kramnik himself!)
  • Use Humour! Funny or peculiar things are easier to remember than normal ones.(How stupid the Black bishop looks in this position; you can associate the bishop with someone's face:))
  • Similarly, rude rhymes are very difficult to forget! (1,2,3,4 and the queen goes to d4:))
  • Symbols (red traffic lights, pointing fingers, road signs, etc.) can code quite complex messages quickly and effectively.



I will give you an example to see how this strategy works:
During a psychology test, to check the memory, a guy is been given a long series of numbers, with absolutely no logic way to connect them to each other. The expected result was that at some point the poor man will not be able to remember the next numbers on the list. But...surprise surprise! He remembered them all:) The secret he used you already know it: mnemonics. 
He recalled the street image where he was living (thus a familiar place) and placed each number on a house door: 24 goes to the Browns, 135 goes to l'Ami-s, 59 is just right after corner and so on. 
This strategy helps you remember more details and to transfer information from the short term memory to the long term one. This is the most important part for us, to remember our lines after 2, 3 months or one year, since the last time we saw them on the board. Fantastic, isn't it?!
If for this man, random numbers were possible to memorize, our chess lines, which we are familiar with, which we saw several times and which are very logic, should be a lot more easier.


Location: gives you two things: a coherent context into which you can place information so that it hangs together, and a way of separating one mnemonic from another. By setting one mnemonic in a particular town, I can separate it from a similar mnemonic set in a city. For example, by setting one in Iasi (my hometown) and another similar mnemonic with images of Woerden (my parents in law city), we can separate them with no danger of confusion. You can build the flavors and atmosphere of these places into your mnemonics to strengthen the feeling of location. No more confusion between 1.d4 and 1.e4 anymore:)

I cannot offer you the perfect way to remember your lines, first of all because people are different. What works for me: visual images, might not work for X, who prefers to use his sense of hearing (songs, rhymes, repeating his lines out loud). You have to discover yourself what is the best strategy for you and than never forget to use it! Make your life easier!



13 comments:

  1. I will try to remember it! It was very useful

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great article Alina! Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Phenylanine, Valine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Isolucine,Methionine,Histidine, Arginine, Leucine, Lysine

    Here is another one that is easy to recall:

    Polar Valley Tranqualized Tigers Inhaling
    Mushrooms Herbs Around Liquor Lines.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's another method as you said:)
    It is called acrostic - an invented sentence where the first letter of each word is a cue to an idea you need to remember.
    Anything is good, as long it helps you to remember.

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